October 31, 2012

nyc & lists that give life

i went to visit my sister in nyc about a month ago... it was sooo refreshing!
it was such a nice visit & it happened at a time that i NEEDED to get away & have time by myself/without children. ;)
sometimes we can get so caught up in living life that we don't evaluate how our hearts are doing. are we giving them what they need? we need regular time with our Savior to keep our perspective right, but we also should consider what gives us life. it's so important to do as many life-giving things as we possibly can. & often we have to do things that are life-sucking... but it's all about balance. here's some of my lists (not in any particular order)...
*being creative/making things
*time with my husband! even just sitting on the couch & watching a movie/show
*time with friends
*hosting people in our home
*planning & throwing parties
*time alone in a coffee shop reading the Word/journaling/good books
*good music

*being stuck in the house for days & days
*lack of fellowship with the body of Christ
*not completing my "to do list"
*getting behind on keeping the house up
*discord with family or friends
*not having a regular routine

when we encounter "life-sucking" things we should be aware of how much those things are happening in our life & try to balance them out with "life-giving" things. :) the Lord is what steadies us ultimately. He is never changing.

"but i have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. i will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me." 
psalm 13:5-6

October 26, 2012


my sweet friend courtney is reopening her shop today after her trip to africa! 
aren't these earrings so so cute!! she came up with the colors & designs & made them herself... so you won't find these anywhere else. i actually already own a few pairs of burdees & i can't wait to get more! she's rolling out her fall line today so head over & check them out. 

but before you do... you have a chance to win 3 pairs of them right here!!!
aren't they so fall-ee & sweet?!!! i love the middle pair! 
so here's how you can enter...
1) instagram the top picture of these cute earrings & tag me in it, also include a link to my blog.
2) tweet about how bad you want to win & how everyone else should try to as well, link to my blog.
3) facebook about how you can't handle how unique they are, link to my blog. ;)
4) go look at her shop now & tell me what you're favorite ones are.

after each entry leave a separate comment below telling me how you entered.
the giveaway ends on monday!

can't wait to see who the winner is!!! 
now for some window shopping at burdees. :)

jenelle mears!

yay! congrats!
(send me your address on fb & we'll get your earrings sent to you!)

October 25, 2012

sweet family

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(embracing the camera here. & a lot of embracing the camera happened yesterday as well.)

we took some family photos with mike's family the other day. it was fun! we've been so blessed to be able to live near all of them for a few months. we're grateful that our boys have gotten a lot of quality time with them before the Lord sends us out into full time ministry & possibly the mission field. jude, sammy & amos have enjoyed getting to play with their cousins... A LOT! i've REALLY enjoyed getting to know my sister-in-law, rachel. i consider her a dear friend.
mike's mom & dad have supported us greatly over the years & they continue to do so. WE ARE SOOO BLESSED! not many people have parents & in-laws that support them financially & in words & actions. we cannot thank them enough! we are so grateful that the Lord is providing through them. 
thank you, mike & fancie! our family is blessed & all the people that the Lord puts in our lives in the future will be blessed by your investment in our training & support of our ministry!!!! glory be to God for your generous hearts with your children, grandchildren & so many others. we love you guys!

make sure you stop back by tomorrow to enter for a really cute giveaway!!!

October 24, 2012

lots of smiling faces

one last post of these amazing photos taken by mary of float away studios & we spread the lovewe spread the love is a nonprofit that raises support & awareness for orphans in uganda. they have sweet necklaces, bracelets & purses on their site for sale... profits go to precious children in uganda that need a mommy & daddy (just like our amos a few months ago). 

our Father has been so good to us to make up the barker family of all these smiling faces pictured above. thank You Lord!

giveaway on friday!!!

October 23, 2012

not my to do list

i'm sooooo type A, so "to do list" minded that i even treat my kids like they're my "to do list" sometimes. getting dirty diapers changed i feel like i've accomplished something, giving them baths i feel like i can check it off my list, filling their bellies with yummy food another thing off the list. 

i need to enjoy the process... not just the end result. i don't want to rush to what's next just so i can get the satisfaction of finishing the task. i want to be in the moments with them & soak it all up. i know it will be gone before i know it. this life is fleeting. i'm here with them... now. i get everyday, all day with them & that will be gone before i know it. 

"so teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."
psalm 90:12


i have a giveaway from a sweet sweet friend's little earring shop coming up on friday! be ready to enter!!! they're super duper cute!

October 20, 2012

lately grams

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1) tostada for lunch. 2) i'm not into scrapbooking, but i can tape some pictures in a notebook. ;) i'd like to make this a new tradition... a yearly family photo book. 3) polenta crust vegan pizza. i'll have to post the recipe!!! delicious! 4) a boy lost in fall. 5)-11) my sister flew into chicago for a conference & we only live a couple hours from chicago sooooo the boys & myself took a little trip! it was crazy & at moments i thought i was going to lose my mind, but i didn't & we all survived & i was sanctified & we got to see aunt brandy! 5)-7) the boys & i went to brookfield zoo for their free day. hardly anyone was there & they had a blast. 8) our sweet sweet friend clara is at school in chicago so we got to have dinner with her. she babysat jude when he was little so he pretty much thinks she's the greatest. 10) sweet sister that put up with our craziness! 11) jude is getting into legos & we are loving it!!! 12) i got to hold this little nephew today! 
funny/favorite/current things...
*jude & i are going back to chicago soon!!! we get to spend more time with clara & her mom & some other friends that are coming up from memphis. 
*then some of our dearest dearest friends from memphis 
are coming to visit us in mi!!!!!!!
*my brother is flying up for thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
he has no idea how excited i am!
*i'm so grateful my husband is almost caught up on his seminary work. 
i've missed him!
*found a way to watch season 3 of downton abbey... favorite!
*sammy calls aunt brandy, "bran brie".
*jude & i were talking about hair & he says, "i do not like curly hair, i like beautiful hair." i ask him, "what is beautiful hair?" he says, "yours." ha! i love my boy & the way he thinks!
*i have a date night planned with my man!
*gonna make this yummy soup tomorrow!
i'd love to see any lately grams you may have on your blog. post the link in the comments below. :)

follow me on instagram... @albark.
my account is private so you'll have to request to follow. :)
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